A day with free time!

There really isn’t such a thing as free time on a farm. Sometimes I get to actually work on what I want to instead of what I need to. That’s about as close as I get to free time around here. But lately I’ve had snippets of what free time looks like. The other day, I looked at my calendar and I only had two appointments. Admittedly the first one was half an hour away, and required manual labor while I was there, and I’d come across 19 other things that need to be done while I was there. And the second one was one hour in the opposite direction, and then 30 minutes back, BUT, I only had two appointments ALL DAY! Woo hoo!

As I arrived at my first appointment and said hello, SWMBO called.

“All the lights on my dash are going off. It says something about oil. Should I keep driving?” She asked hopefully.

“NO! Pull over somewhere safe!”

What ensued was a telephone conversation where I explained how you go about checking the oil in a Chevrolet 5.3 liter engine to someone who has been driving for 27 years and has never checked the oil. This was while I was standing in front of a master engineer who rebuilds P-51s for fun. It was a bit embarrassing. However, SWMBO had done all the correct things, except checking the oil, but who does that anymore with modern cars. The truck was safely turned off and out of the way. She would get her mom to pick up the family and make the needed errands happen. I just needed to take care of the vehicle.

I cut my meeting short and headed back to Apex, which was an hour away (of course I was 30 minutes in the opposite direction, have you never heard of Murphy?) As I was driving I got some more information. Apparently there was a big oil stain where the truck had been parked the previous night. That told me it wasn’t just low on oil. Something was broken. I called a couple of friends in the towing business, but they were all tied up. So I called Miguel who had a friend with a rollback. He was available.

When I arrived at the truck, everything looked deceptively clean. No oil anywhere. No leaks. Nothing wrong, except the oil didn’t touch the dipstick. Ugh. I waited on the rollback for about 15 minutes, then decided to go get some oil so we could drive it on and off. Three quarts of oil later, the oil barely touched the dipstick. Yikes!

SWMBO's suburban on the rollback, being taken home
Heading home in shame

Finally the tow truck driver found me and I was able to send the truck to the farm while I went to appointment number 2. When I arrived back home from that trip, Miguel sent me out to get oil and filters for the Suburban and we proceeded to drop the oil and change everything out fresh. Miguel also found a couple of loose bolts on some piece of the engine that looked slightly wet from oil. It’s the only thing we could find wrong with the engine so either it was dripping from where we found, or it’s decided to start burning oil at a troublesome rate.

We finished about 6:15pm so so much for my short and easy day. Once we got the truck on the rack we also found this. 

The truck drives fine, not pulling to either side. But today, it’s going to the tire shop to get new tires because of this.

I wasn’t happy about having to work on the truck unexpectedly. Nor was I excited to have to pay for the tow. And working overtime when I’d planned on having a day to get caught up wasn’t high on my list.

But if all this hadn’t happened, she could have been in another state with my kids, with a truck that THEN ran out of oil. Or this tire could have kept wearing out and maybe we wouldn’t have noticed it. And she could have had a blowout while doing 75, with my kids onboard. So what happened is the Lord, being smarter than I am, was kind enough to wait for a day where I didn’t have much going on to tap me on the head and tell me to get Wifey’s truck maintained, NOW! Also, Spork received a lesson in checking the oil, as did SWMBO. So everyone is a bit smarter and safer. I am a bit poorer, but richer for the experience.

Now onto today, where I only have two appointments! Woo hoo!

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